edX Article

Quoted in the Zintro Blog: “Harvard and MIT’s big online move,” July 9, 2012, by Maureen Aylward.  The text of the quotation:

Glenn Everett, a higher education consultant, says that the motive behind edX is research. “The Harvard and MIT announcements emphasize the data that they will gather on how we learn, for application, online, and also in the classroom,” he says.  “They apparently intend to do some follow-up with the students, to learn not just how well they do on the exams, but how well they acquire and apply the learning months after the course has ended. And although they speak briefly of making the venture pay for itself through “modest fees” for certificates of course completion, Edx is apparently not driven by need for profit; they are not worried about “monetizing” the idea.”
Another, perhaps not-so-secondary motive, would seem to be establishing brand identity online for these residential schools, says Everett. “When asked what they have learned from other initiatives, Anant Agarwal, edX’s president, mentioned Khan Academy as ‘no. 1 out there’ in terms of innovation. One might surmise that Harvard and MIT hope for edX to have a Wikipedia-like impact in the area of free online courses,” he explains. “edX may have a significant impact in non-credit offerings, a staple of continuing education divisions at many colleges and universities. But Khan Academy was already showing where the future was heading. In the long term, the impact on student learning may be significant, but that depends entirely on quality of the research yet to be done—but at least it will be done.”

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